Face mask, hand hygiene enough to protect motorcycle riders, says health expert

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 14 2020 06:53 PM

MANILA — An infectious disease doctor on Tuesday said that motorcycle riders can protect themselves from the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) simply by wearing face masks and cleaning their hands.

“The way we advocate to prevent respiratory droplet transmission is the wearing of mask, both by the driver and the rider (passenger at the back),” said Dr. Arthur Dessi Roman of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases during a virtual forum of various Philippine medical societies.

“So if you are wearing a mask already, I am not too sure of the additional benefit of using that barrier between the rider and his passenger,” he added, when asked about the government’s requirement for motorcycles to have a barrier to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Roman said he is more concerned about the aerodynamics of the motorcycle and whether the barrier will cause imbalance or instability.

“As far as contact is concerned, remember contact is also a mode of transmission, then after riding we can always perform hand hygiene with alcohol,” he added.

Despite concerns raised by motorcycle groups and even local officials, the national government has insisted that the barriers are safe.